tv [untitled] December 14, 2011 7:30pm-8:00pm PST
we did our homework before we apply for these spots. we collected hundreds of signatures in support. we picked locations carefully per legislation not to upset any restaurants with like food conflicts in. we are part of the restaurant community and understand exactly what these people are going through. i have read through all of the issues raised. there are many inaccuracies that we can address. i wanted to focus on a common thread of unfair competition and lower prices. having run both the restaurant and a truck, it is a misconception to think back -- to think that you can start a truck with $500. our prices are the same as the restaurant inside the truck for
several reasons. both trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants must prepare and store their food in approved kitchens. trucks also have to load, transport, and reheat their food in vehicles that use very expensive propane or gasoline generators. brick-and-mortar restaurants to cut -- to pay more rent but they benefit from greater convenience and predictability to offer a dining experience. they supplement their sales through catering, which trucks cannot do. trucks have a limited capacity which decrease the sales they can do in a comparable period with brick and mortar. they employ tremendous maintenance costs and sales are weather dependent. when a truck goes down with a mechanical instance, the sales are gone. trucks pay the exact same sales tax, payroll tax, healthy sf, and other permit costs. we also employ numerous people.
food waste is much harder to control as well. you have to go with a certain amount of food. this drives the cost of operation up. these unique limitations and added costs to operate a truck level the playing field for fair competition. i also want to touch on the other topics of the definition of like food. the contention that like service equates to like food is far too broad to be practical and is not considered a practical definition. the definition is focusing on the ethnicity of the food. there are no indian restaurants in the radius of either of the locations being appealed. the definition of like food also takes into account the overall composition of the menu. the lady from oasis grill, a lot of respect, i am sure she is doing a wonderful job, i believe everything she is saying, but it is not indian food, it is not
like food. a few indian spices does not make it indian food. we are in the and and they are middle eastern. -- we are indian and they are middle eastern. there are very many soup and salad places. there is a plaque -- there is a practical reason for this. lack of much needed diversity. it is difficult to find a small enough space to rent with a full cooking hood where you can sell a niche product like ours. we have looked at many spaces so we know this to be true. if the california and 61 beale are ideal blocks for a food truck. the restaurants in the radius are a whole block away, on the other side of a huge building. the same is true for 61 beale
st. it is a great plot for a truck. a massive sidewalk, limited food options, and zero culturally diverse food available. this whole process is ultimately about san francisco. by upholding these permits, and you will enable us to bring affordable indian food to consumers in the financial district, create jobs, and increase tax revenue for the city. the permit is consistent with what the legislation is designed for, fair competition on a structurally suitable block with no like food conflicts. we are confident we will improve the vitality and street life of each neighborhood that we serve. thank you. >> how much time do need? >> i need a few minutes. >> 3? 2?
>> 3 would be great. >> i am a business partner. i also have two children who attend sherman elementary school. we got serious time and effort into choosing these locations. as restaurant owners, we understand that we would not want a food truck parked right in front of our location either. that is why we did not choose any spots right in front of any restaurant. this lot is a good example. there is zero retail. yes, chipotle is going in, but they were not when we applied, and that is not like food anyway itkasa supports two san francisco families. i ask that you of all the dpw decision to uphold the permit. i want to clarify some decisions that were brought up. on the bathroom forms, it is the condition to starting
operations. we have bathroom locations for our permit that is in use now. it was not difficult for us to find those. we do not have the locations can down for this particular permit and we are sure we will not use it until we do it we are not in possession of the truck for this permit yet. it is being constructed in a way that allows us to open up on the driver's side so we will not the parking backwards. we are designing it specifically for this location. we have planned it very carefully. >> i'm going to interrupt you. where are the bathrooms? >> live at said, we do not have them yet for this permit. but we would never operate or open our doors before we got them. i think there is some concern about all of the applications flowing into the dpw.
applying for a permit and getting a permit granted is different. it is the job of the dpw to ensure that there are not 8 food truck on every block. that would not be good for anybody. i wanted to make that point. i wanted to bring up something on the parking issues. there is a discrepancy there, whether it is a time limit for the yellow zones or something else. this is not a new thing and it is a good opportunity to try to reconcile those things. historically, this has been the case under the police department permit, the same discrepancy existed, and it was up to the mta to enforce the parking meters then like it is now. now, the process is becoming more public carry it is a good opportunity with the group of commissioner wiener to understand there could be a
medallion program or something that could bring those together. it does not -- it seems like something that can be worked out. really, we are coming to you as small business owners, asking you to uphold our permits. we did our best to choose a spot that adheres to the law. we put time and money and effort into following this legislation to a t. >> thank you. you will have six minutes of rebuttal as well. >> i am from the department of public works. in hearing the various appellants and everyone else has stated one of the major issues was economic costs, specifically they stated that the department has not done an analysis in these specific cases. that is true.
we cannot disprove the allegation nor affirmed it in these specific cases because there is insufficient information, specifically as it relates to this. i believe the restaurant gaylord said they lost a certain percentage of their revenue in the last year. one thing that everyone needs to recognize is this is among the most difficult times, within the last decade, for pretty much every industry out there. everyone is struggling. i am not sure, moving forward, how the department can evaluate and make these kind of adjustments if that is the request from this board.
one thing to point out from the comments as it relates to sanitation and all of the other required permits and how the department is able to issue a permit, the code is very specific as it relates to this. the department would issue a permit had within 90 days from the permit issuance, the applicant needs to acquire all of the approval before they can operate a. one of the reasons is because, when you purchase a vehicle, you need to reconstruct and remodeled it in order for it to operate. at that point, you need to go back to the department of health and make sure that the vehicle is satisfactory and the fire department to make sure the open flame source requirement is satisfied. there is a therelag time for people to purchase these
vehicles due to the cost of these vehicles. there are comments as they relate to people parking the wrong way. again, traffic regulation does not allow people to park in the opposite direction of traffic flow nor does it allow people to double park. ultimately, it is left to the mta and police department to enforce double parking and parking the wrong direction. that is beyond the jurisdiction and the control of the department. many of the discussions by the appellant were policy issues, specifically as it relates to the riding of the legislation, which, as i have stated earlier, is not a policymaker. we are here to interpret the code and enforce it and executed as it is written.
the department believes that it acted correctly in this evaluation and approval of these permits. i am available to answer any questions you may have. >> i am going back to the restrooms again. if the certificate of certification -- if the significance of sanitation happens 90 days after the permit has been granted, you have already established the location and done all of the work up to that point. what if there is no restroom to be had? one of the speakers said pete's coffee is not going to give a coffee truck use of the restroom. >> that is correct. in which case, the department of public health would not certify the sanitation approval. there would inform the department of public works which would either did -- which would
either suspend the application, suspend the permit pending approval, and asked a reasonable time that they can acquire it. they would not be able to operate until they acquire all of the appropriate department approvals. >> thank you. >> commissioners, unless you have further questions for the parties, the matter is submitted. commissioner fung: -- president goh: we need to make disclosures if we have any. and i actually have some. commissioner fung: i have not
been to any of these restaurant. [laughter] president goh: i frequent coffee trucks and this morning, i went to blue bottle coffee truck on market street. none of that context will affect my decision making. go ahead, commissioner fung. commissioner fung: this is not a simple issue. neither side, in their presentation, presented a course of action for me, on this board, easily. there were elements of presentations from both sides were i both agree and disagree. when it came down to it, two points in focused my decision and it became solidified as i heard the rebuttals.
as an aside, one of the things i really did not want to hear was the concept of medallions for these food truck, because i sat in at the very -- at the very beginning. that did nothing for us. the two things that focused my attention and has affected my decision making are the following -- first, our city agencies are expected to create a consentual atmosphere. i do not see that here. i see that it has not occurred. i think that agencies have been able to help focus, to help refine the legislation so that
they wind up creating a greater amount of consensus. as an example, when we dealt with limitations on the number of restaurants on a street, when it dealt with certain types of restaurants that were in excess of four or six, depending on the time frame, they had to go through a different process. i do not see a process occurring here. i do not see the refinement that will be reflective of less discord. adding to that, when i look at the specifics of the cases, and we did see the findings -- excuse me, we saw reports. we did not see a lot of identification of whether or not
there was -- it does not matter. when you look at the findings of the reports, i have disagreements with those. the issue of minimum pedestrian sidewalk with -- width, these two sidewalks are relatively new. if you look at the tree wells and the furnishings on the sidewalks, people are not going to line up in between those zero. they're going to line up as they want. they're going to aggregate, people are going to be talking. i do not see that being maintained. we have a clear example that, and certain other parts of our city, where the sidewalk tables came through, there are certain parts of our city where a wheelchair could not get through. by the time they add the space
heaters, all kinds of other things for the comfort of their customers, it does not work. secondly, the question of -- the question that has been addressed by many people talking about the vitality not of the neighborhood, but of the streetscape, more people usually correlate to greater vitality. people standing in line waiting does not necessarily correlate. my opinion is that, the question is the department, their staff, and their decision making process state this but do not provide any information that led to that particular finding a. i found both findings to be in error. i cannot support this particular permit. vice president garcia: my
understanding is the very best it could happen with this permit is for us to continue this case and. they do not have a bathroom authorization. therefore, they have to be in full compliance with our requirements for this permit. they are not so this is the best we can do. the thing that disturbs me most is j-5. i do not understand how one apartment, dpw, granted a permit to an individual to operate in violation of the law. how is that possible? maybe sometime in the future, d pt will do something to accommodate this issue of firm parking laws that affect mr. fish but are not going to affect this operator. that is eminently unfair to me. at first blush, when i read this, i felt as though the appellants were -- this is a function of what i read last
week. i felt as though the appellants were asked -- were asking us to intervene in a permit and it would represent, on our part, if we were to overturn, a restraint of trade. the more i looked into this and the more i felt about it, even though this is neg dec on the ceqa issue, maybe this does require some sort of see what issue. but i would want it for something that they do not do. i would want it for an economic analysis. that is not a part of ceqa. two agencies of government -- do agencies of government get into economics? they do. some people said we do not want
to have the same look all over town. i realize that the c-3, which is where the struggle to operate, formula retail does not apply. but what it is about, in addition to esthetics, is to prevent someone who has economies of scale and a greater ability to be profitable than a smaller operation, a mom and pop, from operating in a way that is unfair. beyond that, there is some economic issue having to do with the fact that someone local is going to the moneys that are generated from that particular operations are going to find their way into our economy in a way that is greater than if it were a home depot or something. there is the uncertainty issue. some speaker spoke about the fact that she was looking into
opening some other operations and they did not know what to charge. their three methods of -- there are three methods of appraising what a building is worth. the easy one is comparing. if you're building burns down, you have to rebuild it and appraise it. the third issue has to do with what is addressed. what is the building going to generate in terms of revenue? that gives it a value. that gives you an opportunity to make decisions. the way that this is operating, this being -- what is this called? 5.8 or whatever this legislation is, it seems like it is a rush to judgment. i appreciate someone coming here from small-business association to present a point of view. maybe it was not valid, because
there is a second point of view of the people who are the appellants. when someone says there are lots of problems with it so we are going to form a task force to solve some of these problems, but in the meantime, hang on. let this go through. six months from now, we can decide if it was bad legislation or if these spots were bad and we will overturn it. we've heard people talk about the fact some of these people who operate these restaurants that may or may not be affected by the operations of the truck, they will be marginal. six months from now, they might be out of business. it seems to me that we, even though we know it, we want information, more testimony going to economic impact, negative or positive, should have been presented to us. commissioner fong refer to the findings.
-- commissioner fung referred to the findings. it seems as though, at the basis of it, it is an economic issue. the findings read that, in this particular case, the idea is to encourage the use and vitality of the san francisco neighborhoods. the next sentence reads the vitality by scree -- bite streetscapes directly benefits the commercial and dressed in san francisco. you could make an argument that this will not really hurt a restaurant. someone would be willing to entertain that and you can amass statistics to prove -- amassed statistics to prove that. no one could argue that this does not have the potential to
do harm to these restaurants that already exist. i still feel, in spite of what someone said someonei2b 1 and 3, maybe that was not the legislative intent to make a distinction between like food and like presentation for it is seems that when legislation is overly interoperable, it is bad legislation. if things should be clearly laid out. i would want to hear that interpretation. at any rate, in spite of all the comments made about the economic things, i think this thing is problematic. the fact remains that we cannot upfolded today because of the lack of bathroom authorization. beyond that, my intention is to not support this permit and to recommend -- and to overturn
this permit. president goh: i think the trucks are a really great idea. i am with the board of supervisors on putting this legislation in place. i think it is the wave of the future. it is exciting. it is what young people want. i am not so young -- it is what i want. there is something appealing to it. it is quick. the tech craze, the things mr. paul was speaking about. and yet, in the application here and the way it has come through dpw, i agree with vice president garcia that we could not approve
it tonight. because there must be current compliance and there is not. i think we do not have a choice in that regard. in this particular area, maybe the hearing officer could have looked at mitigation measures around the area being fully by elisa, density considerations, ms. dick asked the question how many is too many? maybe there are too many here. the economy has a lot to do with it. we have heard from one appellant owner that all of the money is made in 1.5 hours. i believe that. it makes sense in this economy. if we were in a fleshy economy, maybe it would be different. maybe there would be enough to go around. i agree with my fellow
commissioners that those issues are worth considering. maybe by ceqa, maybe by the dpw hearing officer. the system is set up so that person has some discretion. i believe that person should exercise that discretion. we are able to review. we are able to do that tonight. i agree with my fellow commissioners. is there a motion? >> may i ask a procedural question? president goh: absolutely. >> there are three sites that are listed with this permit a. two are subject to appeal. one is not. i am curious as to whether this action would affect the third address or if we could proceed with the third address and have
the permits authorized for that. and have the matters authorized -- the matter is subject to appeal authorized for your process. >> you could sever the third location, but you would need to continue it one permit so that they could provide you with certification. in order to uphold that location. vice president garcia: is that 65 second street? >> that is correct. vice president garcia: if we could sever that so they can proceed with that and provide the rest room for. beale and california will be subject to this process. >> there is no way to celebrate it -- there is no way to sever it in that way. the board would have to uphold the permit on